Everything You Need to Know About Employee Background Checks in Australia

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Background checks are becoming more and more important for Australian employers as the country increasingly embraces a digital and service based economy.

Employers are recommended to carry out background checks on their employees, to ensure that their credentials and experiences are accurate and true. These checks might include a criminal record check, an employment history check and a credit check. Background screening checks are an important part of the hiring process. They help employers to make sure that they are hiring the right person for the job and also protect them from lawsuits, and any negative impact on the workplace culture.

background check australia
Background check australia

The use of automated background checking software has increased in the workplace over the past decade with some companies using it to conduct background checks on potential employees. This is because online screening tools can now be used to automate these processes and reduce human error, whilst also saving time and money.

Background Checks in Australia

There are 21 different categories of background checks available. Here is a selection of the different types of background checks available for businesses in Australia

1. Criminal history checks - are done by checking with police or government records to see if a potential hire has any criminal record. This background check can also be used to test for employment-related issues like drug use or mental health problems.

2. Employment history checks -  are typically conducted through checking potential candidates’ past work experience by asking them about their previous employers and what they did and accomplished there

employment history check australia
Employment history check australia

3. Academic achievement checks - are used in order to check the history of a person's education to ensure it is legitimate and was completed, at and on a recognised course and institution. These background checks can help businesses hire individuals with the right specialised skills and credentials.

4. Credit report checks - identifies the applicant’s credit history and ensures that they have no unpaid debts with any creditors or debt collectors.

5. Social media checks - searches for social media profiles and determines if a candidate has any red flags on his/her social media accounts before sending a job offer

6. Reference check - automated employment references obtained based on the needs against the candidate.

reference checking australia
Reference checking australia

7. Adverse Financial History Checks - to ensure that a person has financial integrity to take up a position with seniority and financial accountability.

8. Civil check - whether or not your candidate has been involved in civil litigation by using an automated civil check.

Why is checking for background information very important for businesses, across sectors and for candidate seniority?

Checking for background information is important to avoid hiring someone who could be a risk to your company. It is important that you take the time to do this before you hire anyone.

employment background check australia
Employment background check australia

There are many reasons why background checks are important and here are some of them:

  1. Employers can save money by avoiding the cost of training someone who might turn out to be unproductive in the long run. 
  2. It helps employers find people with the right, sometimes specialised, skill sets, which ensures that they're not wasting their time on candidate profiles they don't need.
  3. It provides peace of mind for employers who want to know that the kind of person they're hiring does not have any criminal record or a history of violence and is not in any way a threat to their co-workers and customers
  4. It helps protect business investment, avoid legal issues, and make sure that they have trustworthy staff who will be able to help them grow and succeed.

Using a Software in Background Checking

Background checks can be done in many ways: online, phone call or in-person interviews. But the best way to conduct an employee background check is through the use of specially designed software and this can be done by using a number of different methods such as internet searches, social media profiles, or public databases.

online reference check australia
Online reference check australia

Online screening software provides a way for employers to quickly and easily do background checks on their candidates. The software searches for public records and social media profiles that may contain information about the person being checked. It then compares these records with the information provided by the person applying for employment. If there is a discrepancy in the checks compared with the stated information, this is then flagged to the prospective employer in a report.

There are also online services that offer a range of tools and resources to help employers conduct these checks. These services include conducting background checks, running credit checks, and verifying identity documents.

Hiring a Background Checking Company in Australia

Companies want to hire the best talent quickly, but they often don't have time to do a comprehensive background check. That's where third party background checking companies come in. 

Background checking companies are often used by employers to check the background of potential employees. They conduct thorough background checks on a person's criminal history, educational background, and professional experience.

Background check services can be used for any type of company, from small businesses to large corporations. Hiring a Background Checking Company can be useful for employers who want to make sure that they are hiring the right person for the job, it helps them save a lot of time by not having to do all of this checking themselves.

Veremark offers fast, secure, scalable automated background checks for companies in Australia from high-growth start-ups to enterprise businesses. To know more, click on the links below to get started for free or talk to our sales team.

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FAQs on Background Checks on Australia and New Zealand

What types of background checks are involved in Australia?

Police checks, criminal record checks, identity verification, Australian work entitlement (VEVO) checks, identity fraud checks, reviewing criminal databases, online identity checks, reference checks, credit checks, and credit scores are just a few examples of background checks typically performed in Australia.

Are background checks legal in Australia?

According to the Privacy Act, a person's criminal history is deemed sensitive information. Therefore, firms must get permission from candidates before doing a police criminal record check or gathering information about a candidate’s criminal history.

How does HR verify past employment in Australia?

HR can hire a verification agency like Veremark to perform an Employment Verification Check that will confirm a candidate's employment history to a number of years from the time the applicant ceased employment with a previous employer.

Can employers check your criminal record in Australia?

In most cases, an employer is required to inquire about a job applicant's criminal history. However, employers must get a candidate's permission before conducting a police check.

How do I do a background check on someone in Australia?

Carrying out a background check in Australia and New Zealand can be a complicated and lengthy process, but with Veremark's automated platform this can be achieved quicker, with less risk and is next to no work for your team.

What causes a red flag on a background check?

Being dishonest raises a big red flag for Australian employers. No matter how well-written or exaggerated the resume of the candidate, if an employer did not find out she/he lied about her/his education, abilities, or credentials, it will most likely  be discovered via a background check.

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

Future of Work for HR Professionals and Leaders

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